54 years ago today, Elton John and his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin were signed by DJM publishing. Their signatures had to be witnessed by their parents because they were both under 21 years of age.
Taupin answered an advertisement for a lyric writer that appeared in the New Musical Express—and the pair have since collaborated on over 30 albums. (1967)
More Good News on this Date:
- The London Gazette, the oldest surviving journal, was first published (1665)
- US legislation established the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as a federally-funded nonprofit to ensure universal access to non-commercial, high-quality content—like Mister Rogers—earmarking 70% of funds to 1,400 locally owned public stations (1967)
- Congress overrode President Nixon’s veto of the War Powers Resolution to limit presidential power to wage war without congressional approval (1973)
- Hillary Rodham Clinton was elected to the United States Senate, becoming the first former First Lady to win public office in the United States (2000)
- Nancy Pelosi became the first woman speaker of the house in United States history, third in line to the president (2006)
- Keith Ellison, a Democrat from Minnesota, became the first Muslim elected to Congress (2006)
- Wisconsin voted to elect Tammy Baldwin to become the country’s first openly gay U.S. senator, by a margin of 51-46 (2012)
- First-time candidate Danica Roem in Virginia became the first openly transgender woman in the nation to win a seat in a state legislature (2017)
32 years ago today, Doug Wilder in Virginia became the first elected African-American governor in United States history.
The attorney and veteran was a state senator and lieutenant governor and, later, the mayor of Virginia’ capital city, Richmond… Also, on the same day, David Dinkins was elected as the first African-American mayor of New York City. (1989)
And 31 years ago today, Irishwoman Mary Robinson became the first woman to be elected President of the Republic of Ireland. The Independent politician was the seventh President of Ireland, serving through 1997. She is widely regarded as a transformative figure for Ireland—and for the Irish presidency—revitalizing and liberalizing a previously conservative, low-profile political office.
Now 76 years-old, Mary Robinson also served as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and in 2010 set up The Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice, which aimed to advocate on the struggle to secure global justice for victims of climate change “who are usually forgotten.”
In 2007, GNN covered her collaboration with Nelson Mandela, Graça Machel, and Desmond Tutu in a group called The Elders—formed with the hopes that their wisdom, independent leadership, and integrity could help tackle some of the world’s toughest problems. (1990)
And, Happy Birthday to Joni Mitchell who turns 77 today.
The Canadian singer-songwriter and painter is one of the most influential female musicians of the late 20th century. Her many hit songs include ”Both Sides Now,” “Chelsea Morning,” “Big Yellow Taxi,” “A Case of You,” “River,” “California,” and “Free Man in Paris”—all recorded before she was 32.
Her distinctive open-tuned guitar was prompted by her childhood bout with polio which afflicted her fingers. Joni said the improvised tuning freed her songwriting, and was “a tool to break free of standard approaches to harmony and structure”.
Four years ago she suffered a brain aneurysm and she also suffers from a rare disorder called Morgellons disease. She just released a new book of drawings and writings, Morning Glory on the Vine: Early Songs and Drawings, and a biography about her life, Reckless Daughter, was released in 2017. Wish her a happy birthday at WeLoveYouJoni.com. (1943)
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